Niagara County Clerk Warns of Deed Scam

June 20, 2011 Updated Jun 20, 2011 at 12:43 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Niagara County Clerk Warns of Deed Scam

June 20, 2011 Updated Jun 20, 2011 at 12:43 PM EDT

Niagara County, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Niagara County Clerk Wayne F. Jagow on Monday warned Niagara County homeowners to once again be on the lookout for a direct mail solicitation letter offering to obtain a certified copy of the homeowner's deed at costs of over $60.00.

"I want our residents to know that this is a scam, and they should never have to pay for a certified copy through a mailing of this nature," said Jagow. "Deeds are recorded by my staff and then returned to the party who has recorded them. In most cases, that would be the attorney representing the new homeowner.

"A certified copy of your deed can be obtained from my office for approximately $5.00, and residents should know that if their deed was filed in my office, it has been recorded and remains valid whether or not the homeowner has a certified copy of that deed in their possession."

The mailing advises the recipients that a deed was "recorded by the Niagara County Clerk", and recommends that property owners should have a certified copy of their deed. The mailing also invites homeowners to order a "certified copy" of their deed by mailing or faxing a return form along with the payment.

Homeowners interested in obtaining a certified copy of their deed in person at the Niagara County Clerks Office should visit the Niagara County Clerk Recording Office located in the Niagara County courthouse at 175 Hawley St., Lockport between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Homeowners who cannot visit the office in person are urged to call 716-439-7022 to speak to a staff member to learn the procedure for ordering a certified copy by mail. It will be helpful to have the exact name or names of the property owners and the exact property address available before calling. Staff will then advise callers of the fee for obtaining a certified copy and offer instructions on how to order by mail.

The Land Records Division of the County Clerk's Office records all documents pertaining to real property transactions occurring in Niagara County.